Press Release

American Culinary Federation Names 2002 ACF Chef of the Year

Las Vegas, Nevada, July 24, 2002—The American Culinary Federation (ACF), the oldest and largest organization of professional chefs in the United States, has named Joseph Amendola (certified executive pastry chef, certified culinary educator) 2002 ACF Chef of the Year. The announcement was made by ACF President Edward G. Leonard (certified master chef), at the 2002 ACF National Convention, which is taking place July 21–25 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

“Chef Amendola is an outstanding culinarian, and has generously served ACF and the entire food industry for more than 40 years. It is an honor to recognize him for his many contributions to the world of cooking by naming him 2002 ACF Chef of the Year,” said Leonard.

Amendola is member of ACF Central Florida Chapter, and is partner and senior vice president of Fessel International, a worldwide foodservice and hospitality consulting company. Before joining the company in 1988, he served in several positions at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for more than 40 years, in positions including senior vice president, acting president, director of development, dean of students, and baking instructor. He has served the CIA as ambassador since 1989.

An ACF member for more than 50 years, Chef Amendola chaired ACF’s national scholarship and senior chefs committees from 1995 to 2001. He received the American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame award in 1992 and was AAC secretary, treasurer, and chair in 1998. In 1995, he received the ACF National Chef Professionalism Award. He serves as an international culinary, baking, and ice-carving judge and conducts fund raisers for culinary and humanitarian groups worldwide.

Chef Amendola served in the U.S. Air Force from 1941 to 1945. He earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of New Haven in 1971 and 1973. He has represented U.S. military food evaluation throughout the world and consulted for foodservice hospitality globally. He is also the author of four books and has collaborated on several others.

His many awards and honors include Diplomate, Chicago, 1985, the National Restaurant Association Educational Institute; the Order of the Dinner Gong, the International Food Service Executives Association; and the Lt. General John D. McLaughlin Award, 1999. He is also an honorary member of Kyoto Cooking School in Kyoto, Japan.

About the American Culinary Federation (ACF)
Founded in 1929, the American Culinary Federation is the largest and most prestigious chefs’ organization in the United States. ACF’s goal is to make a positive difference for culinarians internationally through education, apprenticeship, and certification, while creating a fraternal bond of respect and integrity among culinarians everywhere.

About the ACF Convention
The American Culinary Federation’s annual convention brings together chefs, cooks, culinary educators, and food industry representatives from across the country in a dynamic environment of competition, learning and professionalism. The 2002 ACF National Convention is being held July 21–25 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and attracted approximately 2,500 ACF members, exhibitors, culinarians and trade show visitors. ACF 2003 National Convention will take place in Washington, D.C., July 24–29. For convention information for next year’s convention, visit

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Contact: Lisa R. Alessandro, APR
American Culinary Federation, Inc.
(800) 624-9458, ext. 103 or (904) 824-4468, ext. 103

Note: ACF’s online media room can be accessed at